Prepare Your Poster Presentation
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Instructions for Making Your Poster
Dimensions of Posters
SURCA posters are limited to a maximum size of 4 ft. high by 4 ft. wide. They may be smaller, but cannot be larger than this.
Designing Your Poster
The most common program to use in creating a poster is Microsoft PowerPoint, with Adobe products also being quite common. The first step is to check the size requirements, then create one slide in PowerPoint with those dimensions. There are many resources available to help with designing your poster. We encourage you to check out the following sites for poster tips as well as talk with your advisor about poster ideas.
- CougsPrints’ website has helpful advice on making posters with PowerPoint.
- PowerPoint poster templates are also provided by CougsPrints on their website.
- Nature photographer and biologist Colin Purrington has a blog providing popular advice on designing academic conference posters.
Where to Have Your Poster Printed
You can choose to print your poster wherever you like. There is a cost to print your poster. The best place to start is asking your mentor. Then, check with your department and/or college because they may have resources available to help you with the cost. Public poster printing services available on the Pullman campus might offer discounts. They include:
There are also off-campus commercial printers that are available nearby.
Because poster printing can be a time-consuming process, there is typically a significant turnaround (two days, for example) between the time you print your poster and the time you can pick it up. Be sure to plan ahead and check with wherever you are having your poster printed to allow enough time to meet your deadline. For SURCA 2023, Coug Prints recommends having your poster printed no later than Wednesday, March 22 so you can pick it up on Friday, March 24. Avoid the last-minute rush!
Presenting Your Poster
Schedule and Location of Poster Presentations
As a poster presenter, you will explain your work and answer questions from judges to the general public, and from those who generally understand the technical aspects of your work to those who know nothing about your topic. At least three judges will visit you at your poster. Be sure to allow time as you plan your delivery for questions from and interaction with the judges; you should give them preference when they come to your display. Also be prepared for questions from the general public visiting SURCA.
The poster presentations will be in the CUB M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom (2nd floor), with the awards ceremony following in the CUB Auditorium (room 177). Important times for poster presenters include:
- 12:00-2:00 p.m. Students will hang their own posters. (Tip: if needed, you can send your poster with another student to hang it for you.)
- 2:00-2:45 p.m. Open to judges only for the pre-judging session; students presenting posters may not be present.
- 2:45-3:30 p.m. Formal judging requires that ALL student presenters must be available to answer questions by judges.
- 3:30-4:45 p.m. Public invited to attend. Presenters should give judges preference when they come to your display.
- 5:00-5:45 p.m. SURCA Awards Ceremony (in CUB Auditorium).
- 5:45 p.m. Students should pick up their posters and judges’ feedback sheets following awards ceremony.
Preparing for Your SURCA Presentation
A large part of the competition is based on your interaction with the judges, who may be WSU faculty, post-docs, and/or members of the external community (e.g. alumni, business professionals, emeriti faculty, and so on). To prepare for your presentation:
- Review the judging rubric that will be used to evaluate all presentations.
- Prepare multiple presentations suitable for a wide variety of audiences, such as experts in your field, faculty, students who are and aren’t in your discipline, and the public. You should also prepare a short summary presentation, and be prepared to expand it.
- Practice your poster presentation and timing by yourself, with your mentor, and with other students who are within as well as outside your discipline or project’s category.
- Arrive in time to be familiar with the location of your poster.
Starting at 5:00 p.m. in the CUB Auditorium, awards will be presented to top SURCA participants. Mentors of award winners will also be recognized at the award ceremony. Following the award ceremony, plan to take down your poster and collect your judge feedback forms which will be hanging next to your poster.